The X Factor is about to go live for Big Band Week! This is a theme that hasn’t been used since 2014, but in past seasons we’ve seen some awesome performances with it, most notably Leona Lewis’s version of Summertime. Will anyone live up to that moment tonight? Almost certainly not. But will some acts come close? I would think so! The best way to find out is to join me at 3:10 PM eastern as I live blog all of the performances right here!
It’s Time To Face The Music! Dermot dances onto the stage as the big band plays behind him. The judges are introduced to New York New York.
Scarlett Lee – In the VT, she goes home to see her mother. She sings Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. She sounds great but this is far from her best. It gets better as it continues. Scarlett giggles a bit as she goes to the judges desk, and jokes a bit with Simon. Only Simon stands for Scarlett. Louis liked it, thinks she did a great job opening the show. Ayda says Scarlett is a starlet. Nile says it was a perfect way to start big band night. Simon says the song showed her personality, is happy that she’s growing in confidence, absolutely loved it. Scarlett is my second favorite act this year.
Brendan Murray – In the VT, he goes to see a football game with Britain and the USA. He sings Say Something by Alex & Sierra A Great Big World. He sounds great on this. I think the inchworm might continue inching on. That’s a reference for listeners of my podcast, by the way. Now available on iTunes! #shamelessplug This is his best performance of the entire competition, hands down. If he goes home, he was well and truly f****d before the week began. Simon, Louis, and Nile stand for the performance. Wow. He might have just inched his way into the semifinal. Simon says the production was beautiful, it was the first time Brendan sang what Simon thinks would be his record, he’s really happy tonight went so well. Ayda says she wishes he sang a big band song, Simon actually argues back with Ayda saying that this would work in the real world. Nile thinks his voice is magical, thinks that he could get an even better song. Louis says he’s one of the hardest working people in the competition, perfect performance. Louis and Simon argue over who suggested the song.
Shan Ako – Louis introduces Shan because Simon doesn’t do it quickly enough – LOL. Shan was deflated hearing criticism last week. Shan goes back to church, where she feels the most free. She sings Summertime. Problematic, because Leona had her biggest moment with this. Shan is doing a decent job with it, but she sure isn’t smashing this out of the park like Leona did. Some of her notes seem pitchy to me. All four judges stand for Shan, as I knew they would. But she’s fighting for second place at best in my view. Ayda says it was pure class, thinks she’s magnificent. Louis says she’s been a contender since the beginning, didn’t love last week but liked this week. Nile says she killed it tonight. Simon pulls out the people like you are why we make the show card, compares her to Fantasia and Leona Lewis. I’m sorry, I think Shan is ordinary compared to Leona.
Anthony Russell – Anthony first auditioned when he was 17 years old, and in the VT, he watches that first audition with Louis. Anthony freaks out over meeting a football player at Wembley stadium. He sings Beyond The Seas. This is a more traditional big band performance. And honestly, I preferred Brendan and Scarlett to this. Anthony sounds a bit off at parts of this performance, but overall it’s good enough. Anthony has never been great. He’s always been good enough. Good enough isn’t good enough to win in my view. Or even make the final. Louis and Simon stand up, Ayda and Nile sit. Simon liked the confidence he displayed, thought it was great, thinks he has a shot at the final. Wow. Ayda likes seeing people other than Simon blow their own trumpet, loves Anthony. Nile says he has a ton of personality and a great voice, last week he was blown away, this week was great too. Louis enjoys having people see how long he’s fought for this opportunity.
Acacia & Aaliyah – They are doing an original song this week called Act Our Age. They enter with a drum kit. They have lasers. This is better than they usually are, but it doesn’t matter. I think they are still goners. The lyrics are garbage but the production at least sounds decent. Simon and Nile stand. Ayda says it wasn’t big band, but it was brave. Louis commends their bravery for doing an original, he says the vocals weren’t perfect but the performance was. Simon says it’s the best they’ve been all series, says the original took guts. Simon practically begs for people to vote. Nile says they were strong, saw how hard they work.
Bella Penfold – In the VT, she gets a tattoo with her dad of her 6 chair challenge song. She sings Strong by London Grammar. She raps again this week, but I wish she wouldn’t. The vocals are pretty good. Not Scarlett/Dalton level good. But good. And Bella is super likable as always. Simon stands, the other three sit. Bella takes a deep breath as if she knows what’s coming. Louis thinks she has a future as an artist but doesn’t think it was the right song for her. Nile agrees, says she was wavering on the notes. Ayda feels the same as the boys, was underwhelmed by it, blames Simon as it’s more fun. Simon says she never compromised herself, says the last 15 seconds were beautiful, loves her personality. I think she’s in trouble if Brendan saved himself.
Dalton Harris – He’s the clear favorite to win the show, unless something goes wrong. In his VT, he appears on Trending Live with Shan and Bella. He reprises his judges houses song, Listen by Beyoncé. This fits better with Big Band week than I thought it would. He kills it again. Another moment for Dalton. My god, that might have been his best performance to date. He’s truly special. The audience goes nuts. Ayda lets the audience cheer, doesn’t say anything other than see you in the finals. Nile says his technique, expression, interpretation, precision-he is an artist. Simon says it was the best performance on X factor so far, would love to send that to whoever wrote the song, Simon got emotional watching it. Louis would be shocked if he wasn’t in the final, says he’s brilliant. He’s the best male technical singer we’ve had on X Factor since Matt Cardle, and I want him to win.
Danny Tetley – Normally, going last is the pimp spot. But following Dalton is the opposite of pimpage. Danny sings My Way. Danny hears from the writer of the song in the VT. It’s good, but again, he’s following the best performance of the entire season. Ayda is crying. I don’t get why. Simon and Ayda stand, Louis and Nile sit. Simon tells Danny to his face that it was amazing, he’s a total star for that. Louis loved the passion, it was a great way to close the show. Nile says he a strong voice, he made him believe it, and he’s wearing his jacket, killed it at the crescendo. Ayda knows her dad is up in heaven picking up the phone for him, says it was the moment of the show. #idoldisagree. It was great, but Dalton had the clear moment of the show.
The vote is open! Same results format as last week. Cheryl and Tom Walker on the show tomorrow night. 3 PM Eastern, see you all then!